Open Houses

What’s making us happy today?

A doctoral dissertation goes visual at Stanford. The tree. It’s more than a bunch of leaves. Stanford University doctoral student George Philip LeBourdais believes—and is set to prove—that wilderness informs human judgment and imagination. See his dissertation come to life at the on-campus Cantor Arts Center. “Arboreal Architecture: A Visual History of Trees” delves into LeBourdais’ thesis, where nature and culture play a major role in shaping modern humanity’s self-awareness, as well as its inclination to preserve or abandon nature’s monuments. A-plus?

2012.562_CrossHenri Edmond Cross (France, 1856–1910), Trees (Arbres), 1909. Graphite and watercolor on paper. Photo courtesy of Cantor Arts Center collection.

An invite to one cool estate. What an oasis the Palm Springs desert was in the midcentury, beckoning movie stars, playboys, and models. Even the politically connected were lured during this time, like Walter and Leonore Annenberg. The couple built a 25,000-acre estate in Rancho Mirage, hiring a who’s who of architecture and interior and landscape design: A. Quincy Jones, William Haines, Ted Graber, Emmet Wemple, and Dick Wilson. The wonderland of Sunnylands estate is open for touring, including the impressive gardens and a solar farm that supplies all the electricity. Join in on special events like free films on the great lawn. It is closed in July and August.

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